Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Natural Products: Why You Should Ignore 'Derived From'

I am still working on the sulfate free shampoo and trying to figure out the best way to frame it for you. Another new realisation that I came to is that a small number of companies using the 'all natural' or 'organic' claims really harp on about where certain ingredients are derived from.

For example one product lists 'coconut oil derived surfactants'.  Someone may actually think that because it says 'coconut oil derived' it is therefore safe.  However, this ingredient listing is very meaningless. The truth is that in the cosmetic industry the vast majority of surfactants for both shampoos and conditioners come from three natural sources

1. coconut oil
2. palm oil
3. sugar
 
I have previously discussed the industry standard for super clarifying although very harsh surfactants, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). However what I have not mentioned that it is made from coconut oil or palm oil and therefore is a 'coconut oil derived surfactant'.

Many SLS free shampoos contain cocamidopropylbetaine (sometimes called coco betaine). This is also a 'coconut oil derived surfactant' but it is significantly more gentle than SLS.

My tip of the day: Ignore the 'derived from' label, it could be hugely misleading. Look for the real ingredient name.

12 comments:

  1. I did notice that trick to that thrse companies are trying to pull. Too bad they couldn't fool me b/c as soon as I put other the shampoo product in my hair and noticed that my hair reacted the sane way it dies to any sulfate/sulfonate containing shampoo, I knew that that ingredient had to be in there. I looked up the ingredients that were unfamiliar to me and realized that my hair reacted the same way b/c the unfamiliar ingredients were close relatives to the sulfates or another name for it. I noticed this specifically when I used Trader Joes Nourish Spa shampoo that many rave about. I stopped using it right after.

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    1. This is the thing, sulfonate is regarded as ok in a sulfate free shampoo. Sulfate free refers to not containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)and sodium lauryl ether sulfate(SLES). Some also extend this to ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl ether sulfate. However SLES is actually gentler in terms of irritation to skin than olefin sulfonates. I think unfortunately by consumers wanting to not see SLS at all, they have ended up with a similar product with a different name.

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    2. To me, if my hair reacts in the sane way with having a stripped, matted feeling then whether its sulfate or sulfonate, I wouldnt use it. My hair felt horrible. I use Terressentials Lavender Garden Mud Wash and it's amazing for me! I also have started to do an ACV rinse which is also wonderful! I would suggest everyone to try this. :)

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  2. Is this similar to salicylic acid being derived from willowbark?

    I had a feeling that all sal acid is derived from willow bark

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    Replies
    1. I just looked that up. Yes it is sort of similar. Salicylic acid can be extracted from willowbark. It is also sometimes labelled as willow bark extract.

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  3. This is quite a timely post. I am actually still trying to understand this all. The 'derived from' vs. 'organic' ingredient. Most of the times, I actually wonder how much of it is pure or are the claims really.

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  4. Is C12-14 olefin sulfonate just as harsh as SLS? what about sodium lauroyl lactylate in terms of harshness? also does it matter if this ingredients are the last few listed on th ingedient list?

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    1. I am still figuring out the best way to present the information so expect a few posts in the next few days. To answer your first question though, yes C12-C14 olefin sulfonate is just as harsh as SLS is on the skin of the scalp.

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    2. Oh and it does not matter where these ingredients are positioned. I have found that not all manufacturers actually correctly list ingredients in order of quantity. The surfactant in a shampoo is the main cleaning ingredient of the shampoo so be aware that if it is in the bottle, it is performing a cleaning function.

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  5. I used L'Oreal EverStrong Shampoo Sulfate free and that really DRIED out my hair! :( I was so upset how my hair felt after wards.

    Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Glycereth-26, Decyl Glucoside, Parfum/Fragrance, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-7, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-10, Methylparaben, Carbomer, C11-15 Pareth-7, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Glycerin, Trideceth-12, Laureth-9, Linalool, Tocopherol, Limonene, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, 2-Oleamido-1, 3-Octadecanediol, Benzyl Alcohol, Juniperus Communis Oil/Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.


    A good Sulfate free shampoo i like and that is creamy is Elasta QP CReme Conditioning Shampoo.

    The ingredienst are:
    Water (Aqua), Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Cocamide MEA, Polyquaternium-10, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin (Vitamin H), Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F), Persia Gratissima (Avocado) Oil [contains Vitamins B2, D, A, E, K, and Potassium], Citric Acid, Ethylene Glycol Distearate, Parfum (Fragrance), DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, CI 19140 (FD&C Yellow 5).

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  6. How about when a shampoo says saponified oils, like coconut? Is that bad too? Is that the equivalent of SLS?

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  7. Saponified oils means it's soap. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saponification

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